IT IS good that the dialogue is taking place. It should not be an issue that some individuals invited to attend are not there. Since some UPND members and representatives of some religious organisations such as the Zambia Inter Faith (Zingo) are there, it is certain that the majority of those participating in the dialogue are Christians who honestly wish to create a just society in this country.
I hope that the dialogue shall look carefully at the setup of rural constituencies which are too large for members of parliament to visit regularly and it takes long to produce election results during elections. Having been involved in the management of the 1996 General Elections, I feel that it would be prudent to create rural constituencies which are conterminous with chiefdoms. In other words, each chiefdom should be represented in parliament by a member elected by people in each chiefdom.
This would mean 288 elected rural members of parliament. Constituencies in urban areas are reviewed and delimitated every ten years by the Electoral Commission of Zambia. Therefore, parliament would not be more than 340 members. Their salaries and allowances would of course be adjusted downwards.
PHILIP JAMES DAKA
Ex-PS for Office of the Vice-President